College Basketball Odds & Best Bets: Our Picks for Wednesday’s Late Games, Including Arizona State vs. Oregon State & Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma
Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Frankie Collins (Arizona State)
- Wednesday's college basketball slate has been great, but it's not over yet.
- There are still a number of conference tournaments in action, and our staff came through with six best bets for Wednesday's late-night games.
- Check out all six of our staff's best bets for Wednesday night's college basketball conference tournament games below.
College basketball never stops during Champ Week, and that just means the betting value never ends.
With that in mind, our staff has six best bets for Wednesday’s late-night conference tournament slate, including a Pac-12 affair between Oregon State and Arizona State.
Dive in below and get the top college basketball odds, picks and best bets.
6 College Basketball Best Bets for Wednesday’s Late-Night Slate
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from Wednesday’s late-night slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Stanford vs. Utah
By Alex Hinton
Utah has been in freefall of late. It closed the regular season by losing five straight and seven of its last nine games. That includes a 78-72 loss to Stanford at home.
However, the Utes played many of those games without guard Gabe Madsen.
Madsen returned on Saturday at Colorado. While Utah still lost the game, it was encouraging to see him log 30 minutes. Madsen should help Utah become awake after its month-long offensive slumber.
Stanford might be the perfect opponent for an offensive breakout, as it’s 156th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Utah scored 71 and 72 points in the two games against Stanford this season. Stanford is one of three opponents Utah has scored 70 points against in its last eight games.
Between its pace and strong defense, 70 points is usually enough to help Utah win games. It’s in the top 20 nationally in effective field goal percentage and 3-point percentage defense.
Stanford is a good 3-point shooting team, but Utah also has the length to impact shooters on the perimeter.
Utah was the better team for most of the season and I believe there is a bit of value on it today. KenPom projects a two-point win. The line is a pick’em, and I believe it would be closer to five or six had Madsen finished the season healthy.
Nonetheless, you can take the Utes to win outright at -110 and not have to worry about them covering a spread. I would play it up to -130.
Pick: Utah -110 (Play to -130)
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LSU vs. Georgia
By Doug Ziefel
This LSU–Georgia matchup is one I targeted in my preview for the SEC Tournament.
While these two teams finished at the bottom of the conference, this will be a very competitive matchup.
The Tigers enter this matchup about as cold as can be, losing 17 of their final 18 games. However, their lone meeting against Georgia was telling.
The Bulldogs may have squeaked out the two-point victory, but LSU shot better from both inside and outside the arc, while also winning the battle on the boards.
Turnovers are what gave Georgia the edge, but statistically, these two teams are even turnover-wise when LSU is in possession.
It appears my thoughts from the preview were correct, as the market has swelled the Tigers to 3-point favorites on the full-game spread.
However, this buy-low spot also gives value to them in the first half.
We have already seen teams that struggled in the regular season come out and play motivated basketball in their opening conference tournament matchups.
LSU is going to be one of those teams, and we can back it when its energy is the highest.
Pick: LSU 1H -1 (Play to -1.5)
Virginia Tech vs. NC State
We successfully faded Virginia Tech last night in this column, so back to the well we go.
The Hokies continue to get buzz as a potential repeat Cinderella in the ACC Tournament, but I just don’t see it with this year’s group.
Tech trailed for much of the second half against Notre Dame, and easily could have lost that game if not for a few late Irish miscues.
Meanwhile, North Carolina State has everything to play for in this game, as the Pack are not quite 100% safely in the NCAA tournament field.
The Wolfpack won the only regular season meeting between these two in Blacksburg, and they should be able to replicate that success in Greensboro.
Virginia Tech does not go very deep, and NC State has the size to neutralize Justyn Mutts and Grant Basile on the interior.
I give a significant edge to the Wolfpack backcourt in this matchup, as Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith should be able to speed up Sean Pedulla and pressure him throughout.
Quite simply, I think NC State is the deeper and more talented team here, and it should be laser-focused to lock up a tournament bid and make a long overdue deep run in the ACC Tournament.
I’m taking NC State -2 in a game I don’t believe will be all that close.
Pick: NC State -2 (Play to -3)
Texas Southern vs. Alcorn State
The 2023 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) co-champion Alcorn State (18-12, 15-3) enters the league tournament with a No. 1 seed and will face No. 8 seed Texas Southern (11-20, 7-11) in Birmingham, Alabama, this evening.
It may appear there’s a large discrepancy between the quality of the two teams — given their respective rankings in the conference tournament — but the reality is that there’s a lot of parity between both teams.
Alcorn State and Texas Southern are the 253rd- and 301st-ranked teams in the nation, according to Bart Torvik.
In the two previous matchups between the two programs this season, Alcorn State emerged victorious and covered in both contests — once as an underdog and later in the season as a favorite.
In the first game between the two schools, Alcorn State shot poorly from the field, going a lowly 35.2% at Texas Southern on Jan. 14.
In the second contest, Texas Southern shot lights out on the road, hitting 51.6% in a losing effort.
I expect a mean reversion in this game and a more consistent offensive performance from Alcorn State. The Braves rank atop the SWAC in AdjO with 102.6 points per possession, and I expect them to outpace a Tigers team that ranks 327th in the nation in AdjO.
This will be a tightly-contested game, but the differentiator should be second chances for Alcorn State. The Braves are one of the best in the nation on the offensive glass, ranking 25th in the nation with a 34% rate.
My model has Alcorn State as 3.5-point favorites based on season averages, and I’m comfortable laying the chalk in what should be a tight matchup.
Look for both programs to revert to the mean from their previous performances against each other as the SWAC co-champions hit the boards hard to make it to the next round.
Pick: Alcorn State -2 (Play to -3)
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
The Bedlam Series continues on in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, as Oklahoma looks to prevent a third straight loss to its in-state rival. The first two matchups were double-digit victories in favor of Oklahoma State.
Avery Anderson III’s status remains in doubt as Oklahoma State tries anything it can to salvage a spiraling season with an at-large bid. The Pokes are 1-5 in their last six.
Even if Anderson returns, he probably won’t be at 100%. The senior guard has missed the last nine games, but leads the team in assists and is the best defender in the backcourt. His absence led to issues on both the offensive and defensive end.
Oklahoma struggled to defend the size of Oklahoma State in the opening two matchups. Kalib Boone spurned OU for 15 points before he and now-healthy Moussa Cisse combined for 36 on 16-of-20 shooting on Feb. 1.
But I think this is the perfect spot to back Oklahoma.
The Sooners have shown some promising signs in the final three games — double-digit wins against both TCU and Iowa State — and rank as the 16th-best team in the country since Feb. 14, per Bart Torvik.
Despite its struggles against Oklahoma State in their opening two matchups, Oklahoma is actually inside the top 100 in defending finishes at the rim, per ShotQuality.
The Sooners also thrive at defending the perimeter, where they rank 21st in catch-and-shoot 3s. That’s where Oklahoma State attacks nearly 30% of the time.
Grant Sherfield is the engine of this offense and shoots 40% from the perimeter. He will remain the focal point of attention for this Cowboys defense, but Milos Uzan and Jacob Groves’ hot perimeter shooting makes OU a threat all over the floor.
Uzan, specifically, has taken huge strides since that OKST loss, with double figures in five of his last six.
Tack on Tanner Groves’ inside game, and I expect a far better result the third time around.
If Anderson misses the game, Sherfield, Uzan and Co. should have a much easier time on the perimeter. Even if he returns, I doubt he plays a full workload.
Oklahoma State is also 320th in turnover rate and if Oklahoma is able to push transition — it’s 24th in efficiency — it should be able to pull away from a Pokes squad that’s extremely reliant on rock fight-style games.
OKST is 231st in transition defense.
It’s hard to beat a team three times, and I expect Oklahoma State to struggle once again as it fails to make the tournament.
Pick: Oklahoma +1.5 (Play to -1)
Oregon State vs. Arizona State
Behind the strength of one of the best defenses in the Pac-12, Arizona State comes into tonight’s game as the No. 6 seed. The Sun Devils now get No. 11 seed Oregon State.
The two schools have met twice previously this season, with the Sun Devils emerging victorious both times.
Oregon State presents an extremely favorable matchup for the Arizona State defense in this opening-round matchup, and I expect the Sun Devils to capitalize.
The Sun Devils have one of the most efficient defenses in the nation, ranking 29th in KenPom’s AdjD by allowing just 95.9 points per 100 possessions.
The Bobby Hurley-led Sun Devils should have no issue stymying an Oregon State offense that’s one of the least efficient nationally, ranking 271st in KenPom’s AdjO by averaging 101 points per 100 possessions.
After the thrilling buzzer-beater to beat Arizona in Tucson, the Sun Devils proceeded to drop their final two games of the season against UCLA and USC.
This is a good bounce-back spot for Arizona State as it looks to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Arizona State failed to cover in its previous two outings against Oregon State, but I think that it gets it done this time around because of free-throw shooting down the stretch of this game.
Arizona State isn’t great from the line, but it was below its season average in both contests against the Beavers this year.
I expect Arizona State to be able to match or exceed its season average of 69.5% from the free-throw line tonight, with the extra buckets resulting in a cashed ticket.
In the battle of efficiency versus inefficiency, I like backing the efficient Arizona State defense and making a play on the Sun Devils shooting better from the line than they have in the last two meetings with the Beavers.
My model is projecting Arizona State as 12.5-point favorites, and I recommend playing this at 12 or better.
Look for the Sun Devils to pull it all together in Vegas tonight.
Pick: Arizona State -10.5 (Play to -12)
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